Do you go online to research a product and compare prices before going to a store to make a purchase? A great deal of buyers do. If you own a business, this stresses the importance for customers to be able to find you online. However, without great content marketing and SEO, that is very difficult to do.
Jessica Crozier and Matt Kortum from Inquest Marketing presented at the latest Greater KC chapter of Public Relations Society of America (GKC- PRSA). Their focus was on content marketing and SEO.
When people think of content marketing, these things come to mind:
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Editorial Content
The truth is content marketing encompasses all of these. If you are using only 1 thing on this list, you really are not using marketing to its full capacity.
Jessica defines content marketing as “a style of marketing that presents your brand as an expert in a particular field or product in order to accomplish organizational goals.”
When building your content marketing strategy, first find your niche in the market. What can you do to make yourself stand out from the competition? Then determine your content mission.
Take advantage of tools like paid advertising. If you are not ready for online advertising, at least make yourself visible in online search results. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes into play. When we build websites, we use relevant content, alt tags, meta description tags and keywords. One tip Inquest suggested was the use of keyword research.
Find out what words buyers are using when searching for your products or services online. Use those keywords in your website body content. You can also find out what keywords your competitors are using with tools like SpyFu.
It is important to refresh the content on your website to keep it current and to encourage customers to come back to your site, but it is also important to Google. That is part of Google’s algorithm for determining what websites make it to the top of the search list. And everyone wants to be at the top of the list. Even if you have no revisions for the text on your site, at least update images.
Having a blog on your website is a great way to keep content updated, but then you also need to be intentional about blogging regularly and keeping the content of the blog posts current.
Even though we are designing for a variety of screen sizes, keep your image file sizes down as much as possible. Large file sizes slow down load time and search engines score low for slow loading.
Something else people often forget about is link building. Partner with others to link back and forth between your websites. One of our web designers was working on a site for Richards Brothers Supermarket. The retailer mentioned his family owns a separate business in town for feed and farm supplies, Richards Brothers Feed. He added a link to the feed store on the grocery store website and the feed store returned the favor by adding a link back to the grocery store site. This gets more visits to your website and helps with search engine rankings.
If you would like to learn more about SEO, a very detailed guide is available online at https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo.